Free: Healthy 5-Ingredient Meals EbookGet It Now
With this method for perfect soft boiled eggs, you’ll never have to guess how long to soft boil an egg again! Although my hard-boiled eggs post has a time chart for all levels of doneness (including soft boiling), this time I wanted to make a post specifically for those delicate, set whites and warm, runny yolks. Try them with sides or on their own for a healthy breakfast in minutes.
Why You’ll Love These Soft Boiled Eggs
- Warm, liquid yolk
- Delicate, set whites
- Simple ingredients
- Fast soft boiled egg cook time — quicker than most methods!
- Nutritious source of protein
- Easy to peel if you need to
What You’ll Need
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for perfect soft boiled eggs, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Eggs – The star of the show is none other than the EGGS! I used large eggs. If you use medium, extra large, or jumbo eggs, you’ll need to adjust the cooking time.
- Vinegar – Adding vinegar to the water softens the shells and makes them easier to peel. I used apple cider vinegar because that’s what I have on hand most often, but white vinegar will work, too.
- Sea Salt – Salting the water when soft boiling eggs cooks the egg whites faster and prevents overcooked yolks. It also seals cracks and helps with easy peeling.
You can learn more about the impact of salt and vinegar in the water in my post about hard boiled eggs.
How To Make Soft Boiled Eggs
This section shows how to soft boil an egg, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
Some methods for soft boiling eggs involve boiling the water first and then lowering the eggs into the water with a slotted spoon, but my method is faster:
- Prep. Place the eggs in a single layer at the bottom of a large saucepan or pot. Add enough water to cover the eggs. There should be at least an inch of water above them.
- Stir. Add vinegar and sea salt to the pot. Stir gently.
- Boil. Place the pan onto the stove over medium-high heat. Bring water to a rolling boil. Set a timer for the soft boiled egg time you prefer (see below) and boil eggs.
- Cool. Meanwhile, prepare an ice water bath (ice in a bowl of cold water), or turn on the faucet on the coldest that it goes until the water is ice cold. Once the timer goes off, drain the boiling water. Immediately place the pan under the cold running water, letting the ice cold water fill the pan, or use a slotted spoon to transfer the eggs to the ice water bath.
- Enjoy. If you plan to eat the soft boiled eggs in a cup, remove them from the water once they are warm but no longer hot. Place in an egg cup (or you can use shot glasses), peel off the top, season with salt and pepper, and enjoy. If you plan to peel them completely or eat them later, leave them in the pot until they reach room temperature before peeling.
Soft Boiled Egg Time
With this method, soft boil eggs for 1 minute for very runny yolks or 2 minutes for slightly runny yolks — after the water is boiling.
How long to soft boil eggs also depends on the size of your eggs, and the times above are for large eggs. Medium eggs might cook 20-30 seconds faster, and extra large or jump eggs might take 20-60 seconds longer.
Tips For Peeling Soft Boiled Eggs
There’s nothing more frustrating than struggling to peel eggs! Peeling soft boiled eggs will never be as easy as hard boiled ones, but it doesn’t have to be hard either. Here are some tips to help:
- Use older eggs – Fresh eggs tend to stick to the inner shell more. With older eggs, the shell shrinks slightly and creates space between the membrane (that covers the egg white) and the shell itself. This space makes the eggs easier to peel.
- Begin with cold water – Giving eggs a “cold start” (placing in water before boiling) gives the vinegar more time to penetrate the shell.
- Use salt and vinegar – As explained above, salt and vinegar help to break down the shells. Both make the eggs easier to peel.
- Ice water bath – For perfect soft boiled eggs that don’t get overcooked, plunge them into a bowl of ice water, or run them under ice cold water. This also helps loosen the bond to the egg white, making the eggs easier to peel.
- Start with the wider end to peel just the top – The wider, rounder end is typically the side that has the air pocket, so it’s easier to peel from that side.
- Roll on the counter to peel the entire egg – Simply roll the egg on the counter with the palm of your hand, creating cracks all over the widest part. Then, start peeling at one of the cracks near the center of the egg and work toward the ends.
- Store for later: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days, with the egg shells on. You can store the eggs peeled, but they won’t last as long.
- Reheating instructions: Yes, you can reheat soft boiled eggs without overcooking them, as long as you do so straight from the fridge. The fastest ways are to microwave in a bowl of water for 1 minute on medium power, or simmer water on the stove and then add the eggs for 1 minute. You can also place them in a bowl of hot water on the counter for about 5 minutes.
Ways To Serve Soft Boiled Eggs
Now that you know how to soft boil an egg perfectly, there are lots of ways to enjoy it! Try these ideas:
- Breakfast dishes – Pair them with a stack of almond flour pancakes and some crispy oven baked bacon for the ultimate breakfast feast! They are also amazing over roasted potatoes.
- Salads – Halved soft boiled eggs make the perfect addition to a grilled chicken salad or steak salad. You can also use them in place of hard boiled eggs in a chef salad, classic cobb salad, or spinach bacon salad.
- Cooked veggies – Serve these runny eggs over quick sauteed spinach, oven roasted asparagus, or mixed sauteed vegetables for a light and filling meal.
- Bread – Crack them over buttered toast on coconut flour bread, or any bread you like. They are amazing over avocado toast, too!
- Soup – A perfect soft boiled egg is a classic component in a bowl of ramen (or keto ramen).
More Easy Egg Recipes
Eggs are so versatile and easy to cook. Try switching them up with these easy egg recipes:
Soft Boiled Eggs (Perfect Every Time!)
Learn how to make soft boiled eggs perfect every time with this easy method — faster than most methods! Includes tips for easy peeling, too.
Like this video? Subscribe to my YouTube cooking channel for healthy recipes!
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Place the eggs in a single layer at the bottom of a large saucepan or pot. Add enough water to cover the eggs with at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water over them.
Add the vinegar and salt to the pot. Stir gently.
Place the pan onto the stove over high heat. Bring the water to a rolling boil.
Once the water is boiling, set a timer based on how you want your eggs – 1 minute for very runny soft boiled eggs or 2 minutes for slightly runny. (Keep the heat on and water boiling.)
Meanwhile, prepare an ice water bath or turn on the faucet on the coldest that it goes until the water is ice cold. Once the timer goes off, drain the hot water and place the pan under the cold running water, letting the ice cold water fill the pan, or transfer the eggs to the ice water bath.
If you plan to eat the soft boiled eggs by just peeling off the top and serving in a cup right away, you can remove them once they are warm but no longer hot. Place in an egg cup, peel off the top, and enjoy.
If you plan to peel the soft boiled eggs entirely or eat them later, leave the eggs in the pot for about 10 minutes, until they reach room temperature. To peel easily, roll the egg on the counter with the palm of your hand, pressing gently to make cracks all over the shell. Then, peel from the center towards the ends of the egg. The peel should come off fairly easily, but not as easily as hard boiled eggs.
Did You Like It?
Leave a rating to help other readers (this also helps me continue to provide free recipes on my site), or get the recipe sent to your inbox.
Serving size: 1 large soft boiled egg
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
© Copyright Maya Krampf for Wholesome Yum. Please DO NOT SCREENSHOT OR COPY/PASTE recipes to social media or websites. We’d LOVE for you to share a link with photo instead. 🙂